MACON, Ga. - Hunker down, Georgia fans. Longtime radio announcer Larry Munson is hinting that he may be through as the voice of the Bulldogs.
The 84-year-old Munson wants to return for his 41st consecutive season of Georgia football but isn't sure his body will allow him to do it. He met with athletic director Damon Evans on Tuesday to discuss contingency plans. "I'm almost 50-50," Munson told The Macon Telegraph. "I don't know what I'm going to do. I absolutely have plans to do it, but things are just getting worse and worse."
Munson, a prostate cancer survivor who also suffers from arthritis and back problems, is known as much for his skeptical nature as his gravelly voice. Two of his closest colleagues expect him to be back in the booth come fall. "Like the good trouper he is, I think he'll be ready when kickoff comes," said Loran Smith, the executive director of the Georgia Bulldog Club and Munson's sideline reporter. "I don't think he could imagine himself being anywhere but behind the microphone. I think he knows a lot of people are counting on him, and I don't think he'd want to disappoint the Georgia people in any way, shape or form." Neil Williamson, the director of sports marketing for WSB Radio, which employees Munson, said he talked with him in the past week without the subject of retirement even coming up. Munson, however, said he's not so sure.
His pace has slowed noticeably in the press box in recent years and isn't getting any better. "I can't run, and I can't walk," he said. "I can't use my hands. I can't close my hands. It's just so stupid." The new permanent 12-game regular season and increased number of night kickoffs make the season tougher on Munson, Smith said.
"After all these years, I suspect that Larry's aches and pains are more intense now, and that probably causes him to fret a little bit more," Smith said. "I suspect the reason he might be down, if he's down, is he is thinking about that bus ride after that Alabama (road) game and that plane ride home after the Tennessee game."
Georgia starts the 2007 season on Sept. 1 against Oklahoma State at Sanford Stadium. Munson said he hasn't set a timetable for making a decision about this season. "I really can't answer that," he said. "Give me a couple weeks and give me another crack at it."